February 10, 2012

Live Blog: Mitt Romney comes to Maine

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

(Continued from page 1)

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign rally in Grand Junction, Colo. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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That being said, Romney added he still paid all his taxes on that money.

Neither the woman nor anyone else asked about Romney's Swiss bank account, which was closed last year but has also drawn criticism.

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6:18 p.m. — Romney said unlike career politicians, he'd only go to Washington for his presidency and then he'd come home. He's not interested in staying there forever, he said.

He'd rather be in New Hampshire, he said, at his home on Lake Winnipesaukee.

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6:15 p.m. — As Romney railed against Obama's healthcare plan, a man in the crowd yelled that Obama's healthcare plan is based on Romney's plan from Massachusetts.

Romney shouted him down, however, and received large applause for doing so.

"If you like him so much, go vote for him," Romney told the heckler.

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6:13 p.m. — Romney attacked the president for his compromise today involving the Catholic Church and birth-control access for women.

Romney said the insurance companies will just pass the cost onto the consumer.

Romney called Obama's compromise "deceptive" and "disingenuous," and said he would end the president's War on Religion.

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6:10 p.m. — Romney guaranteed as president he would balance the budget and cap government spending.

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6:08 p.m. — Romney said Americans' "inalienable rights" come from God, not the government.

America needs to get back to its founding principles, he said, which President Obama and his supporters don't understand.

"The president said he wants to fundamentally transform America. I don't want to transform America," he said. "I want to restore it to its founding principles."

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6:05 p.m. — Romney received a very loud standing ovation when he was introduced.

He said three years ago, President Obama told The Today Show he'd likely be a one-term president if he couldn't turn the economy around.

"While we're here to collect," Romney said, as the crowd cheered. "These are tough times. This president has failed us."

He said more foreclosures have happened under President Obama than any president in history.

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6 p.m. — "This is the most important election, I feel from the bottom of my heart, in a generation," Schneider said.

He also said President Obama has "mortgaged our future, our children's future" to the Chinese, and Romney was the "only candidate" who could undo President Obama's "over-regulation."

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu is also in attendance.

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5:54 p.m. — Peter Cianchette, Romney's state campaign manager, just called Maine a "campaign battleground state."

He implored Maine's residents to work tirelessly for Romney in the next 24 hours.

"It's time we return a leader to the White House," Cianchette said. "He's the only candidate who's been a leader his whole life. ... He's created tens of thousands of new jobs."

Cianchette said his dream was Romney getting Maine's four electoral votes Saturday, and ending President Barack Obama's presidency in November.

Bill Schneider, Maine's attorney general, will also introduce Romney.

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5:44 p.m. — The crowd is definitely older tonight than the crowds at Ron Paul's rallies in Maine. I'd say the average age at this event is somewhere between 45 and 55.

An aide to Mitt Romney just announced the event will begin shortly. He urged everyone to vote in the Maine Republican caucuses tomorrow for Romney.

Romney's staff is informing each audience member where their relevant caucus will be held, if it hasn't already taken place.

Many of the state's caucuses actually voted last weekend. But Romney chose not to come earlier in the year, likely because he didn't think Maine was overly important until he lost all three contests on Tuesday.

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5:34 p.m. — The event was scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. No word from organizers as to when Mitt Romney will actually appear and begin to speak.

(Continued on page 3)

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